As you may remember, back in Oct 2007 (just after the VW Expo event in San Jose) the Electric Sheep campaign for CSI:NY aired in the US. This episode was one of the first examples of media convergence between the real and virtual worlds. You can read a background and watch some videos from the first episode here.
Well, it’s back with the second part of the story and being aired tonight on CBS.
On a related note, it is me or does the timing here seem a little spooky? First episode – just after VW Fall, second episode the night before day one of the NY show. Maybe someone should investigate that. Anyhow, moving on…
Here’s a press release from the Sheep about the conclusion of this story in CSI.
ELECTRIC SHEEP COMPANY’S MACHINIMA ANIMATORS WRAP UP THE CSI: NY Virtual World Killer Mystery
Primetime CBS Series Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of 3D Animation Using Electric Sheep’s Machinima
March 31, 2008 — NEW YORK, NY — CBS drama CSI:NY and the Electric Sheep Company partner to wrap up the Virtual World killer plot line in the upcoming episode DOA for a Day on CSI:NY, Wednesday, April 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The first part of the episode titled, “Down The Rabbit Hole” which originally aired, Wednesday, October 24th will re-air this Wednesday, March 26 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
In “DOA for a Day” the CSI’s, working with an anonymous tip, travel to an abandoned warehouse and back into the virtual 3D computer world where they hope to find one of the city’s most-wanted criminals.
The Electric Sheep Company, a leading virtual world services company, was hired to supply the animation for both episodes. The machinima was produced by the former ILL Clan, machinima pioneers acquired by the Electric Sheep Company in January 2007 to head their machinima animation division.
“Speed is what distinguishes machinima from all other forms of animation,” says machinima animation director Kerria Seabrooke. In spite of the extremely tight deadline, we still had time to focus on details such as seamless animations, the richness of color, the flow of fabric, the metallic reflection on a gun, which bring the virtual world into the realm of high-end 3D animation.”
Machinima (machine + cinema) animation differs from traditional 3D animation because it is similar to shooting film or TV. Its shot in real time without the long rendering times that traditional 3D computer animation requires. The real-time aspect of machinima animation was very important on this project, as there was a two-week turnaround time from script to completed animation.
In addition to the animation, an ongoing cross platform experience was created last fall in the virtual world of Second Life by the Electric Sheep Company in conjunction with CBS and Anthony E. Zuiker (creator of the CSI Franchise). The experience includes a virtual lab where users can recreate the experiments and tests from the show as they solve one crime per month.